Monday, 30 June 2014

How to create your own Wimbledon in your back garden

Wimbledon has made its way around once again even though it only seems like yesterday that Andy Murray thrilled us all by lifting the trophy for the first time. If you’ve been swept up in the Wimbledon madness, as many people do, then why not create your own SW19 in your back garden. Here’s how…

The court
Obviously the first thing you need is a court, otherwise there will be no play whatsoever! There’s no need to paint lines on the grass (unless you really want to); instead you can do a couple of other things in order to mark out a court. You can pin some ribbon in place to create a rectangle or you can throw the rule book out the window and not have a court marked out. Any part of the grass counts!

Equipment
You then, of course, need some racquets, a net and a ball. Unless you have a huge garden (and plenty of money), then you won’t be able to do things professionally here, but you can still get good enough equipment to have a decent knockabout. You can buy garden tennis sets like these from Tesco which have all you need to get started.

Clothing
If you want to do things by the book then you need to get the Wimbledon clothing right, and that means you have to wear all white. Everything from your trainers to your t-shirt to your underwear (yes, really) needs to be white, and the Wimbledon officials can get very picky if you don’t follow the rules!

Play into the evening
Wimbledon used to just be a day-time tournament but now it can go on until all hours of the evening, meaning you don’t have to stop play just because the Sun’s going down. If you get the right lighting for your garden then you too can play as long as you like, perfect if you’re in the middle of a tense final set. See here for some great outdoor lighting to make your own floodlit Centre Court.

Food and drink
You can’t have Wimbledon without some strawberries and cream, and this is the perfect little snack if you’re having a garden party at the same time. A glass of champagne also goes down a treat if you feel like going a little more fancy. Unfortunately, players are restricted to a couple of bites of a banana and some Robinson’s squash, but they do get someone to stand over them with an umbrellas.

Rain stops play
As with the real Wimbledon, rain may well stop play, so you need a contingency plan in case this happens. Centre Court now has a roof on it, so you could set up a temporary gazebo or marquee to shelter you from the rain or you could rope the kids in to pull a big sheet of tarpaulin across the grass when it starts to rain. Cliff Richard impersonators are optional.

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